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5 Minute Motivational Games

Run or Tag


Equipment: None


Grade: K-5th


  • Groups of 2.


  • Each partner go to the center of the gym and stand on opposite sides of the half court line.


  • Give all the players on one half the #1 and the other side are #2.




  • If you call #1, they become the tagger and all of the # 2’s must run off the basketball court behind the baseline before they’re tagged by their partner.


  • VARIATION: Now the # you call must flea and the other # becomes the tagger.  It’s a little confusing, but it adds to the fun. Tip: Don’t attempt this change until 3rd grade.


  • VARIATION: Name one half of the players as odd number and the other half as even numbers.  Roll dice and if it lands on an odd number they’ll become the taggers and vice versa.


  • VARIATION: Have the kids go on their knees with their hands behind their back. They may stand as soon as the number is called.


  • VARIATION: Place a bean bag on the half court line that they must grab before the cross the baseline behind them.


  • VARIATION: You can challenge students/campers by adding a soccer or basketball on the half court line.  They must dribble it behind their baseline.




Equipment: None


Grade: 2nd-5th


  • Game starts with a partner.


  • Each group plays one round of rock,paper, scissor.  The winner looks for another winner to play immediately.  The player that lost, walks behind the player that defeated them and supports them to win.


  • This process continues until you have two players left with all of the defeated players standing behind them to support.


  • The kids really get into this.


  • VARIATION: Place one team on opposite baselines of the basketball court.


  • Place hula hoops that make any pattern you choose from baseline to base line.


  • The first player in each line will step or hop in each hoop until they meet the player from the other team.


  • Once the players meet, they will have a rock, paper, scissor competition.  The loser will step out and go to the end of their line.


  • The winner will continue stepping or hopping thru each hoop and the next person in line on the other team will do the same.


  • If one team gets a player into their opponents first hoop, their team wins.




Clothes Pin Battle


Equipment: Clothes Pins


Grades: 2nd-5th


  • Each player starts with 5 clothes pins clipped to the back of their shirt.


  • Object is to take clothes pins off the back of the other players and put them on your shirt.


  • The player with the most pins wins.




CLICK HERE to see a game of clothes pin battle.  In this version you put the pins in your pocket.  Assuming kids might not have pockets, you can have them clip them on their back as they do in my version.


  • TIP: If your class is struggling to put pins on their back, you can choose other locations, such as below knee or belly.



Keep it up


Equipment: Beach balls


Grades: 1st-5th


  • Put your class in groups of 4-8 players.


  • The players must strike the ball into the air as many times as they can until it hits the ground.


  • Allow double hits, but no more than that, because kids will take advantage and hit to themselves extremely low over and over.


  • Everyone is to count out loud, so you know what number their on.


  • If the ball hits the ground, they must start over form number one.



King of the Court


Equipment: Depends of the Sport.


Grades: 1st-6th


  • This game can be played with soccer, basketball, hockey and you might be able to imagine a few others.


  • Object is to knock everyone’s ball off the court and keep their ball on.  


  • No teams.  It’s everyone for themselves.


  • If a ball is hit off the court and comes back in, the player is still out.


  • If a player knocks their own ball off the court, they’re still out.


  • TIP: As more and more players get knocked out, you should make the playing area smaller.


  • Without stopping the game, have players move from entire court, to volleyball court, to half the court or a smaller circle painted on the floor, etc…


  • Players must stay with their ball at all times. 


  • Basketball variation: Players are not allowed to hold their ball.  If they do, they’re out.


  • Hockey Tip: Head of stick is not allowed to go over the shoulders.


  • VARIATION: Play with teams using wrist bands or pinnies.  You can play with two, three or four teams.


Toss & Catch


Equipment: 1 ball per group.


Grades: K-5th


  • With a partner.


  • 1 ball for every two players.


  • The players will all start on a designated line.  I usually use the baseline of a basketball court.


  • Each group must pass and catch the ball until, they eventually make a catch on the other end of the gym behind the other base line.


  • If a catch is dropped both players must touch the starting line and try again.


  • The player with the ball is only allowed to throw.  They’re not allowed to take steps with the ball.


  • Each group can do this in 2,3,4 or however many throws they prefer.


  • Once they make a catch behind the far baseline, they may run back to the wall behind the starting base line.


  • VARIATION: Instead of running back to the finish, they must perform the passes all the way back to the starting line to finish the race.


 Hyperspace (Tag)


Equipment: Wrist bands or pinnies.


Grades: 2nd-6th


  • This game can be played on a basketball court, but outside is better.


  • Object of the game is to get all of one team behind the back line of the other team first.


  • When players are on their side of the court or field, they’re the taggers.


  • Once a player crosses over the center line to side of the other team, they can be tagged.


  • If a player falls on either side or tagged on their opponents side, they must touch their back line before they can cross over again.


  • KEY POINT: Players are still allowed to make tags on their side after they’ve been tagged or fallen.


  • VARIATION: Once a player is safe behind the line of the other team, they simply cheer and wait for their teammates.  You have an option of allowing safe players come back into the game.


  • The only benefit of allowing players to come back into the game, is to help slower players make it across.


  • I find that sometimes the games drag on too long when this is allowed.  You could always allow this for a certain amount of time in each game.


  • TIP: If games seem to go on for too long, I recommend a 10 second countdown.  This usually motivates most of the kids to make an attempt across the line.


Monkey In The Middle (Team)


Equipment: 1 foam ball, Wrist Bands or Pinnies.


Grades: 1st-5th


  • This is team monkey in the middle.


  • Teams of 3 vs 3 or 4 vs 4 work the best.


  • Make sure the teams are placed in a small area. 10ft radius is a good size.


  • A team will lose possession if a teammate holds the ball for more than 5 seconds, the ball hits the ground or intercepted by the other team.


  • The Player with the ball can only pivot.




  • Player with the ball may tag players of the other team with the ball.  Still only allowed to pivot when in possession of the ball.


  • This adds a new strategy to the game, because the without the ball must attempt to steal passes without being tagged.


  • When a player is tagged they must sit out.  SIT OUT OPTIONS: Out until ball is dropped, intercepted or 1 minute.


TIP: Break class into groups 4-6 players.  Playing area should be no larger than a 5-10′ radius.


Feet To Feet



Equipment: 1 ball.


Grades K-3rd


  • Place your class in groups of 5-7 players.


  • Each group will stand in a circle feet to feet.


  • Object of the game is to strike the ball thru the legs of another player for 1 point.


  • Players are not allowed to grab the ball.


  • OPTION: Hands are not allowed to touch the ground until you attempt a save.




Equipment: You have options such as a pool noodle, broom stick, wand, etc… (anything that can balance)


Grades: K-3rd


  • With a partner, stand a designated distance approximately 10 feet apart.


  • Each partner stands their object up right and run to the partners object in an attempt to grab it before it falls.


Container Catch


Equipment: Container and ball.  Any type of container will work.


Grades: K-3rd



  • Container options, box, cut out gallon container, tennis ball can, etc…


  • The ball size is up to you, but a tennis ball is a good choice.


  • This is just a basic game of catch with a partner using a container.


  • Partners can do this sitting, kneeling and standing.


  • performing a 360.


  • running from one end of the gym to the other.


  • Off a bounce.





Equipment: 1 ball with bounce to it.


Grades: 1st-5th


  • Place your class in groups of 5-8 players.


  • Each group will walk, skip or jog in a circular pattern.


  • One player will carry a ball.


  • All players will be given a number.


  • When the player with the ball call your number they will throw the ball up in the air to the center of your circle.


  • The player who hear’s their number, must run to the center and catch the ball. Variation: Allowed to catch the ball off 1 bounce.


  • If the player catches the ball, they have two options.  They may yell scatter or monkey.


  • If they yell monkey, the player that caught the ball must tag the player who threw the ball before they run around the group in a circle as in monkey in the middle.


  • If they yell scatter, everyone must run away and the player with the ball will attempt to peg another player with the ball.


  • When a player is tagged, hit with a ball or drops the initial toss, they’ll receive a point.  Player with the least amount of points will win the game.


Group Ring Toss



Equipment: Deck Rings


Grades: 1st-4th


  • Make your class into groups of 5-8 players.


  • All players must chain elbows or hands.


  • TIP: You can use deck rings or pinnies for players to hold on to, if they feel uncomfortable holding hands.  This strategy can be used for many games.


  • Spread deck rings all over your gym.


  • Object of the game is to toss a deck rin into the circle of the another team.


  • If a deck ring lands in the circle, the tossing team receives a point.


  • If the team moves out of the way and the deck ring doesn’t land in the circle, that team will receive a point.


  • OPTION: Use a foam ball if were worried of children getting hit with a deck ring.


Jump The Ring



Equipment: 1 rope and 1 deck ring per group.


Grades: K-5th


  • This game can be done in small groups of 5-10 or as large as 25.


  • Tie a deck ring to the end of a long rope or jump rope.


  • One player will stand in the center of a circle of players.  Their jump is to swing the rope in a circular pattern below knee level.  


  • Players on the circle must attempt to jump over the ring/rope.


  • You’re out when hit by the rope/ring.


  • TIP: K-2nd I recommend having the teacher rotate the ring.


  • TIP: Set up stations for players that are out, until you start a new round.  It can be exercise stations or simply basketball shooting.


I hope you enjoyed the games.  Please feel free to leave a comment or question below.

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